England Rugby League prepared for this week’s opening World cup game against current holders and host nation Australia with a walk over victory against the Combined Affiliated States (CAS) team in Perth. The CAS team was made up of armature players from throughout the Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Northern Territories, went behind in the opening minute with England Scrum half Luke Gale pounced on a mistake to open up the scoring.
Gale latter added another to go with doubles from Ryan Hall, Jermaine McGillvary and Tom Burgess while Elliott Whitehead, George Williams, Kevin Brown, James Roby and Kallum Watkins all crossed as England Coach Wayne Bennett shared out the game time with 23 of the 24 man getting at least 40 mins run out as the game was split into 4 quarters of 20 minutes.
Bennett used the experience to test some alternative combinations deciding to start with 2nd rowers John Bateman and Ben Currie in the centres, while St Helens centre Mark Percival spent his game time on the wing and NRL half back Gareth Widdop also having a spell at full back.
The only absentee was St Helens Full Back Jonny Lomax who wasn’t risked following a hamstring injury he picked up in St Helens semi-final defeat to Castleford three weeks ago, although he is expected to be fit for Saturdays opener.
England squad: John Bateman, Kevin Brown, Sam Burgess, Thomas Burgess, Ben Currie, Luke Gale, James Graham, Ryan Hall, Chris Heighington, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, Jonny Lomax, Jermaine McGillvary, Mike McMeeken, Sean O'Loughlin, Mark Percival, Stefan Ratchford, James Roby, Scott Taylor, Alex Walmsley, Kallum Watkins, Elliott Whitehead, Gareth Widdop, George Williams.
Combined Affiliated States squad: Stephen Widders, Jordan Jacob, Tusiga Losi, Ben Taylor, Arana Masoe, Delane Edwards, Brandon Purcell, Benjamin Bolth, Andrew Jeffrey, Paul Jennings, Brandon Taua'a, Bradley Gibson, Jarrod Thompson, Terry Constantinou, Scott Jones, Gillespie Fai, Tere Kaue, Jerome Edwards, Tiaan Wilkins, Jake Busby.